Renovated Florida Theatre to reopen Oct. 28


The newly renovated Florida Theatre in Jacksonville will reopen at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Mayor Donna Deegan and other dignitaries will participate in a ribbon-cutting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 inside the lobby/auditorium.

The Florida Theatre has been closed since mid-July to renovate the 96-year-old facility. All the flaking and peeling decorative plaster in the auditorium has been repaired; the lobbies and the auditorium have been painted with fidelity to the 1927 color palette; the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system has been replaced; the electrical vault has been moved to the third floor; and the public restrooms have been updated.

These projects build upon previous ones, including replacement of the theater’s 1,865 seats, doubling the wheelchair seating capacity, installing a new assistive listening system, improving the aisle lighting and handrails, installing a new concert sound system and lighting system, and repurposing the second floor as the Remedy Lounge.

All of the projects, under the banner of the Centennial Capital Improvement Plan, which started in 2019, aim to prepare the historic Florida Theatre for its 100th birthday in 2027. The City of Jacksonville has matched private donations for the renovation.

“The Florida Theatre is one of downtown Jacksonville's gems,” said Deegan. “With its 100th birthday approaching, this is an exciting time to restore the theater to its full splendor. I look forward to seeing the theater’s facelift and supporting our city’s vibrant performing arts scene by attending a show when it reopens — and I encourage everyone to do the same.”

Auld and White Constructors was the general contractor for this project. Sauer Mechanical did the HVAC work. EverGreene Architectural Arts did all the plaster/paint work and restored the tapestries. And Beacon Electric moved the electrical vault from the first to the third floor so it would no longer be a flood risk.